A wraparound story shows a young boy anticipating the arrival of the latest ‘Creepshow’ comic book, before we venture into the following trio of tales; “Chief Wooden Head”: A wooden Indian statue comes to life to seek revenge for the murders of two kindly old store owners (George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour) by a gang of yahoos. “The Raft”: Four young adults are trying to have some fun out at a lake when a mysterious substance/entity in the water refuses to let them leave their raft. “The Hitch-Hiker”: Unfaithful wife Lois Chiles is travelling home post extra-marital coitus when she accidentally hits a hitch-hiker...and just keeps on driving. The hitch-hiker continues to haunt her as she tries to make her way home to her husband. Stephen King has an amusing cameo in this segment as a trucker.
Useless, cheapjack 1987 follow-up to the enjoyable 1982 horror anthology of EC Comics-inspired stories comes from director Michael Gornick, a cinematographer on all of George Romero’s films up to and including “Day of the Dead” (Romero being the director of the first “Creepshow”, of course). The first two segments are a complete bust, but the last (“The Hitch-Hiker”) is admittedly funny and still relevant today, despite a little on-the-nose racial politics at play perhaps and a flat central performance from Lois Chiles. It’s the horror equivalent of that scene from “The Simpsons” where someone keep stepping on all those rakes. It goes on so long and repeats itself so much that it goes from funny to unfunny to irritating to painful to ridiculous and finally to hilarious. Or something like that. “The Hitcher” it ain’t, but the story and message have aged OK.
But the other two stories? Was this really the best they could come up with? Ugh. “Old Chief Wooden Head” is the first story, and despite good work by Dorothy Lamour and (especially) George Kennedy, it’s lame and obvious. It’s your stock-standard inanimate object comes to life to seek revenge/justice deal. It might’ve worked better had the budget afforded the opportunity to see the statue do its bidding on screen. As is, we mainly see the aftermath. A missed opportunity, even cutting away in lieu of showing a scalping. That one really annoyed me. It’s pretty ho-hum stuff, and long-haired Holt McCallany is truly terrible, and doesn’t seem remotely convincing as a Native American, either.
The second segment, “The Raft” is only a slight improvement. The FX are actually decent here, but the acting is abysmal, and the characters and dialogue are pretty risible. The idea behind this one is more interesting than the first story, but it plays out like a SyFy monster movie with ever-so slightly more convincing FX. I don’t think that counts as a compliment, though the oil slick is a cool (if goofy) idea. The punchline is pretty cute. The best thing in the entire film is an end credits disclaimer about juvenile delinquency not being the fault of comic books (or by extension, movies). It’s brilliant and true.
This is a shoddy sequel if ever I've seen one. Scripted by George Romero himself, presumably in about five minutes writing on a bar napkin. The script is based on stories by the one and only Stephen King. Not the best work from either, though admittedly not King's worst work either. Skip this, just watch the first film again instead, it's good fun.